Edited by: Stella Shon
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For those of us who like to travel with points and miles often, the question always remains whether it’s a better value to pay cash for a flight or use points and miles.
Typically, the process involves taking note of the cash price of a flight, looking up the valuation for the appropriate reward currency you could use to book the flight, and then calculating the value of the points you’d devote to the flight to see whether that’s greater or less than the cost of the flight. (That’s a lot of math.)
Now, however, there’s a way to see this information in an instant — without having to leave Google Flights.
Here’s what you need to know about Points Path, a browser extension that tells users whether to use points and miles or cash for a given flight.
Decide Instantly Whether To Use Cash or Points and Miles for a Flight
How does Points Path work?
The free browser extension was designed to work in tandem with Google Flights to display the rates you’d need to pay in points and miles next to the cash price of the ticket you’re searching for. On top of that, Points Path will indicate whether you should pay for a given flight with cash or with points and miles, based on the cash price of the ticket and the value of a given frequent flyer currency.
Even better, Points Path uses a functionality it calls “true round-trip pricing” to give users a real-time, accurate look at award pricing for a given flight. True round-trip pricing matches what’s found directly on an airline’s website, which is in contrast to other available tools that rely on one-way pricing to piece together an award price for a given flight.
Points Path takes into account the complexities of airline pricing models and will even reflect discounts on award pricing that an airline may be offering at a given time.
Whether you proceed to book with cash or with miles, you can click through from Google Flights directly to the airline’s website to complete booking.
“Points Path is designed for travelers who don’t have the time to become experts at using frequent flyer miles, but who want to quickly find the best flights available with their travel rewards and know whether they’re getting a good deal when using them,” said Julian Kheel, the founder and CEO of Tripsight, the parent company of Points Path. “Points Path gives you the answers in just a few seconds every time you search, without having to use a separate website or app, since our results appear directly within Google Flights.”Hot Tip:
Check out our complete guide to Google Flights to learn all the best tips and tricks for using the service.
Points Path is compatible with the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers at this time. You can sign up for the service and download the extension now — and existing users should update to the latest version of the extension to receive access to true round-trip pricing.
Points Path is an exciting new tool in the award travel space that should provide an answer to the perennial question of whether to use points or cash for a given flight.
If you use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, don’t hesitate to download the free extension and start improving your travel booking experience.
Featured Image Credit: shantihesse / Adobe Stock
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.